Karnataka’s bio-economy to reach $50 billion by 2025

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According to reports as Karnataka Government plans to tap the Central Government’s Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme to aggressively push for investment in the bio-pharmaceuticals and medical devices sector, said C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Minister for Information Technology-Biotechnology, Higher Education, Science and Technology, on March 22.

Participating in the ‘Bio-economy 2025 and Beyond’ summit organised by ABLE (Association of Bio-economy-led Enterprises), he said the bio-economy of Karnataka, which is currently valued at $24.4 billion contributing 33% of the national share, is on course to achieve $50 billion in terms of value by 2025, the report said.

Bio-economy segments such as bio-industrial, comprising bio-renewables, bio-energy, bio-fuels, and green chemicals, are expected to be the next big segment that would drive future growth. said the Minister. The segment has the potential to increase by 4-fold in its contribution to the bio-economy of the State from around $2 billion to around $7 billion, he explained.

The State Government has plans to attract investment in bio-agriculture (agriculture and animal husbandry) and bio-industrial (enzymes, biofuels, biomass, and green chemicals) industries to grow its bio-economy. Research and development services, marine bio-tech and BioIT and informatics services would also be focus areas for the State over the next few years, he added, the report said.

Karnataka is the third-largest producer of bio-fuels among the States which have reached 9% blending of petrol in 2021, he said, adding that the State’s Bio-tech industry crossed $180 million in R&D spend. A total of 95 bio-tech start-ups were set up in Karnataka in 2021, averaging almost 8 start-ups every month, the Minister stated.

Karnataka has emerged as the preferred destination for bio-tech investments in India. At present, the State hosts about 60% of the bio-tech companies in India and employs about 54% of the country’s total bio-tech workforce, according to Mr. Narayan, the report said.

Also, the bio-technology industry in the State has been at the forefront of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic by developing and deploying a variety of anti-virals, diagnostic tests, and administering vaccines. For instance; the State provided 2.3 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines per day totaling 86.4 million doses in 2021, he added. (The Hindu)